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American College of Medical Genetics affirms importance of newborn screening dried blood spots
Date:5/11/2009

The American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) has issued a new Position Statement on the Importance of Residual Newborn Screening Dried Blood Spots. In May 2006, ACMG recommended that all newborns in the United States be uniformly screened for 29 conditions. Tremendous progress has been made in implementing broader and more consistent newborn screening since then and it is estimated that thousands of babies' lives have been saved or have been spared from serious disease as a result of the expanded NBS. A critical aspect of newborn screening is the "dried blood spot, filter card" which provides the specimen on which the screening is done. The left-over sample is useful in follow-up testing and other uses aimed at ensuring high quality newborn screening in the United States.

"Residual dried blood spots are vital to effective newborn screening across the United States," said Michael S. Watson, PhD, FACMG, Executive Director of the American College of Medical Genetics. "There has been some debate recently whether the residual dried blood spots should be destroyed after screening and the ACMG has released this statement to convey accurate information about the use of the residual dried blood spots as well as to reinforce the value of the residual spots for their use in improving newborn screening and child health."

The Position Statement affirms:

  • Residual newborn screening dried blood filter spots are a valuable national resource that can contribute significantly to the health of our children.
  • Newborn screening blood spots are stored with rigorous control and respect for privacy and confidentiality to protect the public.
  • If a state decides that newborn screening blood spots should not be retained or used for anything more than the screening test, it is critical that individuals have the option of having their children's dried blood spots deposited in a national repository which will allow for necessary stud
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Contact: Kathy Ridgely Beal
kbeal@acmg.net
301-238-4582
American College of Medical Genetics
Source:Eurekalert

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